Saturday 26 June 2021

'Distortus' by Al Kratz

I’m happy enough at lunch until I catch myself leaning around the booth to get a sight of myself. Well, hell. Not again. I’m hoping at least it’s the past me and not the future one. Happening too much lately either way, some me from some other time sneaking up on me like someone comfortable breaking the laws of nature.

Once I said to myself, “Isn’t it dangerous, us in the same time at the same time?”

“What business of yours are the laws of physics?” I said back to myself, and I was right too. I had no business.

The thing about sneaking up, as if the whole thing’s not shocking enough, is sneaking up isn’t my jam, but it must be, I keep doing it to myself.

If I can tell it’s the past me, I always say the same thing. “I’m ok, you’re ok. Quit worrying about me. Leave yourself alone already.”

I never listen.

I am smart enough not to tell the future what to do.

It’s not like the future me tells me what I want to know, what I don’t want to know. No. It’s more nuanced. It’s eerie. It’s a goddamned poem.

Now that we’ve both got white hair, I can’t always tell the difference. So much for eating. I kick out a chair across from me. I sit down across from me. I think how all I’ve got now is the past and future circling and how I’ve never really understood relativity. I leave the bodies and circle right back until I get dizzy, until I forget which one I came from, which one I’m going to. It’s all the same, these two of me, these two ridiculous just staring at each other, not knowing what the hell to do about it.

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